SAYING he will not allow the Communist Party of the Philippines-New Peoples Army (CPP-NPA) to celebrate their 50th anniversary, Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana yesterday said he will not recommend Christmas truce with the communist rebels this year.
Lorenzana said he objected to the suspension of offensive military operations (SOMO) with the rebels.
“No. I have objected to a SOMO. We shall not allow the CPP to use a SOMO to celebrate their 50th anniversary,” Lorenzana said.
Lorenzana said he will not recommend a declaration of SOMO this year with the CPP-NPA because there was allegedly an order from their commanders to intensify operations against the military and therefore if they declare SOMO and will stand down the enemy will be given a chance to attack them.
The military traditionally declares a SOMO during the holidays, which is also reciprocated by the communist rebels.
It was learned that the CPP-NPA will celebrate their 50th founding anniversary on December 26, 2018.
Lorenzana, a retired military general, made a similar statement last year about possible Christmas truce with communist rebels.
However, President Rodrigo Duterte declared a suspension of military operations that lasted from December 24, 2017 to January 2, 2018.